The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has condemned Patriotic Front (PF) elections chairperson Sylvia Masebo for breaching the Electoral Code of Conduct during the filing in of nominations in the Kapiri Mposhi by-election.
And opposition political party members have demanded for her prosecution.
Masebo who is Tourism and Arts Minister breached the Electoral Code of Conduct by forcing into the nomination centre PF cadres instead of the required number of nine.
The law states that only nine registered voters should be presented during the nominations but Masebo decided to go with over a hundred members at the nomination centre.
And police had a tough time to control the PF cadres who almost became unruly when police restrained them from crossing the 400 metres radius prescribed in the election officer’s handbook. The youths were led by PF elections chairperson who is also Tourism and Arts minister Sylvia Masebo who dismissed the provisions of the law with impunity. The Electoral Commission of Zambia says it is irregular and wrong for the ruling leader to have behaved in such a manner.
Meanwhile Masebo disputed the law providing for 400 metres perimeter from the nomination centre by commandeering a group of PF cadres beyond the cordon line mounted by the police. Efforts by senior police personnel to reason with her proved futile as she boasted that she was a senior member of the ruling party. When further pressed by the Daily Nation Journalist, who reminded her about the provisions of section 5.2.2 of the electoral officers’ handbook, Masebo called an official from the ECZ, who also said it was wrong for the minister to bring supporters beyond boundaries and at this stage Masebo got upset and walked away. She refused to take any further questions from journalists.
And speaking to the Daily Nation after the nominations, ECZ public relations officer Sylvia Bwalya said it was wrong for parties to break the electoral code of conduct. “To begin with there are laws that govern the conduct of elections and all parties are aware of what to do and what not to do, we condemn the action by the PF, we have always been talking about the importance of adhering to the law and even up to yesterday, we were talking over the same issues,” said Bwalya.
And three political parties have successfully filed for the Kapiri Mposhi parliamentary by-elections scheduled for 23rd April and all the aspiring candidates are confident of scooping the seat which fell vacant after the Supreme Court nullified the seat which won by MMD’s Lawrence Zimba now recontesting on the UPND ticket.